This Covid Surge Is America’s Longest — and It’s Getting Longer

The American pandemic’s most sustained increase in Covid-19 infections appears poised to get even longer, a worrisome indicator for overworked doctors and nurses.

The nationwide uptick in cases that became noticeable around mid-September is now in its ninth week, counting from the previous low point in the seven-day average. That’s a longer run than the March-April tragedy that unfolded largely in the Northeast, and the June-July upswing that hit the Sun Belt hardest.

The new cases come as cold weather moves in, forcing many Americans indoors. The situation also has been compounded by pandemic fatigue, which makes public-health efforts such as masking and social distancing more challenging.

The latest upswing may not have initially been the most dramatic, but it started from a much higher base.

136,325 in U.S.Most new cases today

+4% Change in MSCI World Index of global stocks since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

-0.​7572 Change in U.S. treasury bond yield since Wuhan lockdown, Jan. 23

4.​7% Global GDP Tracker (annualized), Sept.


By hospitalizations, the picture is similarly grim: In this third surge, patients hospitalized with Covid-19 started increasing more than seven weeks ago, the longest streak yet.

Nationally, the U.S. reported 135,290 new Covid-19 cases Tuesday, bringing the seven-day average to a record 123,448, according toJohns Hopkins University data. There were 1,393 deaths, which put the seven-day average above 1,000 for the first time since Aug. 20.

Overall, there have been nearly 240,000 fatalities.

According to Covid Tracking Project data:

  • The U.S. hit a record 61,964 patients currently hospitalized with Covid-19 on Tuesday, surpassing the previous high from April 15.
  • South Dakota, North Dakota, Montana, Nebraska and Illinois have the highest current hospitalization per capita.
  • The following states had single-day record cases Tuesday: Rhode Island, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Illinois, Montana, Wyoming, New Mexico and Colorado.
  • Texas also reported record cases, although the all-time high wasn’t reflected in Covid Tracking, which presents the data slightly differently than the state does.

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